Pakistan’s one-day side cricket leverage

Nations, whether rich or poor, realize the political significance of sports. A victory over arch-rivals or a win in the international arena can pay handsome political dividend. Take, for example, Pakistan-India cricket matches that are mini wars in their own right, with bragging rights that come with victory. Indeed, cricket has also been used for political promotion, with the PML-N reminding people that the ’92 World Cup was won during its tenure.... Read More

Cyril Almeida, Imran Khan, and the ECL

Earlier this year, I happened to attend an interesting debate at my alma mater, LUMS. A power-packed panel debated whether the prime minister of Pakistan should resign in the wake of the Panama leaks. The debate is now part of considerable social media chatter about Cyril Almeida’s appearance on the proposition bench. As an audience member who did not agree with Cyril’s stance and voted against the motion, I think it is extremely important for... Read More

Pakistan needs to lobby its case

An outgoing French diplomat, who served in Islamabad for many years, very alarmingly explained Pakistan’s state of external affairs. But first a little history. He explained how Pakistan had a cordial relationship with France which had been the first non-Muslim state to recognize Pakistan. During the Cold War, France considered Pakistan a “state deserving attention” and had been a major foreign supplier of Pakistan Armed Forces. She... Read More

Mind the gap

The World Economic Forum has been publishing the Global Gender Gap Report since 2006. Steps have been taken to bridge the gaps but there are still many tough challenges ahead. The last available report came out towards the end 2015. I read through it and put it away—but continued to think about Pakistan’s scorecard and its consistently appalling ranking (144 out of 145 countries). World Economic Forum 2015 I went back to the report again recently... Read More

Hunza – an oasis of education

Janeha Hussain was pleasantly surprised by her trip to Hunza A few weeks ago, my family and I set out on our annual summer trip to Gilgit-Baltistan. Our destination was the uniquely beautiful valley of Hunza-Nagar. We intended to stay for three or so days i n this valley, exploring the different tourist attractions such as the centuries-old forts of Altit and Baltit, the pre-historic rock carvings of Ganesh and, naturally, the handicrafts and souvenirs... Read More

Indo-Pak: Do it now

Track 2 diplomacy is the way forward for India and Pakistan, says Waqas Rafique We are witness yet again to a recurrence of the classic tit-for-tat tension in Pakistan-India relations. Those who were happy to see the stage being set for resumption of Indo-Pak peace dialogue are now thinking twice before expressing hope for better relations between the arch rivals. Although Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif kept his promise of making efforts to bring the... Read More

Blog of the week: Sardaaraan

Mano Javed pens the real-life story of a Manto-esque figure called Sardaaraan Sardaaran was a tall and scrawny old woman with an exceptionally brisk walk who used to roam in the streets of Old Muslim Town, Lahore in the nineteen-nineties. Those days, we had a house in that vicinity so bumping into Sardaaran was a regular occurrence. Clad in tattered rags, her hair spread around her head in matted ropes, she would emerge from the end of the... Read More

Magna Carta for internet freedom

Shahab Siddiqi says that the government authorities’ inability to come up with answers to some of the questions raised on Internet freedom is quite telling To say the least, 2013 has been an interesting year for Internet freedom activists. When former-NSA-analyst-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked information on the US government’s complex web of spying programs, it was the biggest revelation in a year filled with instances where major... Read More

More than YouTube

Anti-internet censorship advocacy is focused more on the visible glamour of crusading for a cause and less on the real issues, says Adnan Rasool Complex issues with long term impacts are often dumbed down for easy consumption of the masses. This is a sad reality of the world we live in. Oversimplification of intricate challenges has unfortunately become a norm with the advent of mass media, particularly social media around the world. Serious issues... Read More

In defence of drones

An anonymous contributor to The Friday Times blogs asks if drones are really such a bad thing: Recently there has been much hue and cry over drone strikes and the loss of life and panic that it causes. All the political parties have condemned drone strikes and have demanded in the strongest terms that the United States of America stop them. The question is, are drone strikes really against our national interest? The TTP and its allies have killed... Read More

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